I'm trying to stain some cherry wood and just seem to get blochy results.
I'm using a gel stain which is doing much better than the thin stuff. I'm
putting it on evenly and wiping off the excess. Is it in the wood or the
stain or the application method? Any help would be appricated.
Miniwax brand, right?
No, actually I was using Rockler Mission Cherry Stain. I did try thinning
it out some with Miniwax and worked nice on one test pc but on the next one
it was terrible. I don't use miniwax by itself at all.
Some woods just don't like to be stained. They act like they love you and
when you commit they laugh at you and tell you that your mom dresses you
My experience has been to use a surface stain instead of a penetrating
stain. You would seal the wood with a clear coat and then apply the stain
over the sealed wood. The stain is translucent so you can see the grain, and
you get nice even coverage and no splotches. The up side is you can change
the color later if you decide to.
staining cherry is very hard. even with gel stain i've never been able
to get it non-blotchy.
that's why i use dye and toner coats.
works for me. there are people who know far more about finishing cherry
than i do. personally i don't like that dark red look - i'm a fan of
natural cherry with a hint of red-brown toner.
On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 22:12:13 -0500, "Frosty Thunder"
When I stain blotchy woods like cherry and birch I head in one of two
#1 - most often - I apply a barrier coat of Seal Coat, then wipe on a
Behlen's pigment stain. The stain is dry brushed while it's wet until
it's even. Watch for pigment build-up in corners and at edges. For
more color. apply another barrier coat and add another treatment of
the same or a different color pigment stain. (optional) Apply a light
colored dye, like Solar Lux before the first barrier. Use a barrier
between each product until you begin to add clear top coats. I
lightly scuff the top coats with 320 grit to keep things smooth and
remove dust nibs.
#2 - add colorant to a clear lacquer and build color as I spray clear
top coats. Don't try to do this in one coat, build color slowly.
#1 will not usually work with Home Center brands of stain, they will
never dry. The H.Behlen and Mohawk lines handle much differently and
dry much faster than cheaper stuff. So, if you try the method with
different materials and it dosen't work, don't blame me. <G>
Practice on scrap!
Good approach. I use linseed to condition yellow birch, a truly bad actor
in the stain department, or aspen, which suffers from the same interlocked
grain problem. It won't stain as dark, of course, because it doesn't
penetrate as well, so start a tint or two beyond in your test.
Built my kitchen cabinets and island out of Cherry plywood, with solid
cherry face frames.
1. I wiped on a thinned layer of clear shellac to all surfaces (the
cherry plywood and solid cherry face frames) Allowed shellac coat to
dry for an hour, then lightly sanded.
2. Next, I applied Minwix Gel Stain to all surfaces as indicated in
the can. Wiped off the excess within 3 minutes.
3. Allowed stain to dry for 24 hours, scuff sanded, then sprayed
several coats of polyurethane. Allow each coat to dry and scuff sand.
Last coat obviously gets no sanding.
The results were exceptional. No blotchiness whatsoever. The shellac
controls overpentration of the gel stain, which in itself does not
penetrate very far.
Hope this helps. Good Luck.
Cherry is almost always blotchy when stained. You can use a "wood
conditioner" or "Pre-stain". I know everyone hates Minwax around here
but they make one you can get at the Borg. It will help a some, but
with Cherry it is really difficult to get good results.
One trick I use is try test pieces that have been sanded with various
weights of sand paper. For instance, a piece sander to just 120 will
likely stain much more evenly than one sanded to 400. You can get good
results with the 120 if you use a light hand and take your time. Too
fine of a grain sanding can make using pigment stains difficult to get
get good penetration and tone.
Another idea is to try using an anoline or other dye stain. A bit more
difficult and less forgoving and not always better, but maybe worth a
try. You can get some pre-mixed versions of the non-grain raising NGR
from the nice folks at Wood Finishing Supply.com.
Finally, Cherry darkens with sunlight. It happens real quick with
direct light. Try some Tung oil and turpentine then set it under a sun
lamp or outdoors.
of_the email@example.com (todd the wood junkie) wrote in
And if you don't want to wait on natural light, you can always use ~1/2
tsp of lye to 1 cup of water. Darkens it as far as it will ever go in
about 10 seconds. The bad news is that all cherry won't get to the same
level of darness so you need to do this early and match your pieces. The
good news is that if you sand through the darkened wood you just have to
re-apply the lye mixture. It darkens up the light wood and leaves the
already darkened wood with no change. I've done 2 beds this way and it
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